Pro Wrestling

17 WWE Superstars That Need To Just Go Away Source:

Part of the problem with WWE right now is that there are too many wrestlers hanging around on the roster with no purpose. Blame careers lasting longer, blame the lack of competition forcing wrestlers to stick with WWE instead of going somewhere else to freshen up their characters, black the creative team that can’t figure out how to script effective feuds for more than a few wrestlers at a time, the fact of the matter is that there is a traffic jam of talent that is hindering WWE’s progression. How can anyone ever graduate from NXT and become a big star if the people ahead of them never, ever leave? There are still a multitude of talents in WWE that have had significant roles in WWE since the Attitude Era, which is coming up on twenty years ago. For the good of the fans, their careers, and the future of the company, here’s a list of some wrestlers who would do well to take an extended, and in some cases permanent, break from WWE.

17. Sin Cara

No matter who wears the mask, it seems like the Sin Cara gimmick is cursed. Whether it’s botching moves, suffering untimely injuries, or simply being completely overshadowed by your far more talented tag team partner, it seems like there are no possible roads to stardom left for a gimmick that was once intended to be one of WWE’s biggest stars (to the point that he was made a major character in their Scooby-Doo crossover movie). While teaming with Kalisto as part of the Lucha Dragons served to preserve Sin Cara’s career, and could have potentially at least led to becoming a significant tag team on the main roster, another poorly-timed injury freed Kalisto to spread his wings as a singles star, becoming a two-time United States champion in the process. On his return to action, Sin Cara was seen more as an anchor to Kalisto’s future, and has even been portrayed as the weak link of the team on TV. At this point, it’s really only a matter of time before the Lucha Dragons break up, and Sin Cara will almost certainly end up with the short end of the stick. At this point, Sin Cara should probably fade into the sunset, and the wrestler behind the mask should, at the very least, find a new gimmick to start over with. Source:

16. The Shining Stars

We’re not sure how Primo and Epico continue to remain employed after so many failed gimmicks, but they continue to get more chances than several deserving individuals, despite the team collectively having roughly 1/10th the charisma of their relative, former Superstar Carlito. In fact, the return of Carlito is probably the only thing that could save this act, and even then, he’d be far better off by himself. After a forgettable run as fiery Puerto Rican wrestlers (mostly remembered for Rosa Mendes pretending she could speak Spanish), Epico and Primo were retooled into masked Mexican bullfighters, known as Los Matadores. They were quickly overshadowed by El Torito, a midget wrestler in a bull costume who accompanied them to ringside, and were back to being jobbers in near record time. Now they’re back to touting the glory of their homeland of Puerto Rico, which apparently makes them bad guys for loving their island paradise. In any gimmick, however, they’re fairly boring, and the crowds just don’t seem to care. Source:

15. Jerry Lawler

Wrestling fans have always had a love/hate relationship with Lawler. There’s no doubt that he is the King of Memphis, Tennessee, and a genuine wrestling legend. At one point, he was also one of the best color commentators in professional wrestling. But that hasn’t been true for years, and a lot of that is tied into losing his long-time friend and partner at the desk, Jim Ross. With Ross gone, Lawler (who was already fairly irritating, if in a way that was appropriate to his heel character) has degenerated into a shadow of his former self, and has even lost his spot on the Raw announce team due to worries that the three-hour show was taking a toll on him. Now, Lawler is relegated to Smackdown and Pay Per Views, where he continues to tell terrible, dated jokes and leer inappropriately at the female wrestlers (which was moderately uncomfortable to listen to even during the “edgy” Attitude Era, and is downright creepy fifteen years later). WWE is unlikely to force him to step down, due to his years of service, but for the good of the on-air product, it’s definitely something they should consider. Source:

14. Jack Swagger

Ah, Jack Swagger, so much potential, so little ability to realize it. Despite being a former World Champion, Swagger has been a non-factor in WWE for years at this point. His wrestling abilities are still decent, but his charisma and promo abilities are next to non-existent, and he’s had a startling run of bad luck when he’s been on TV, with opponents ending up injured and Swagger somehow always looking at least partially responsible. A face turn into an American hero to face the undefeated (at the time) Rusev could have meant good things, but he was mostly treated like a punching bag for the Bulgarian Brute and disappeared from TV yet again. At this point, there really isn’t anywhere for Swagger to go in WWE, and with the loss of his manager, Zeb Colter, it seems like the writing might be on the wall for his continued employment. Source:

13. JBL

We’ve come to accept that Michael Cole is never going anywhere until he wants to, especially now that the brand split will likely keep Mauro Ranallo squirreled away on Smackdown (although he might get to actually call Pay Per Views now, which is good). However, if we’re going to be stuck with Cole, could we at least freshen up the incredibly tired acts surrounding him? The chief offender, of course, is John Bradshaw Layfield, who at one point was actually a pretty good color commentator. However, in recent years, JBL has devolved into someone who shouts down the rest of the announce table, makes references so dated that Jerry Lawler’s jokes seem fresh by comparison, and generally acts like a bully who is more interested in putting over his personal brand than any actual wrestlers. Additionally, the louder he gets, the less Michael Cole talks, which many might see as a blessing in disguise, but also takes away the one guy who occasionally talks about what’s actually going on in the ring. Cole’s not great by any stretch of the imagination (although there are examples of how he may be unfairly reined in by the voices in his ear), but JBL is almost offensive to listen to at this point. Source:

12. Fandango

Poor Johnny Curtis. By all accounts he’s a decent wrestler with some good charisma, but he got stuck in this gimmick as a ballroom dancer and they just won’t let him out of it. After debuting with a WrestleMania win over Chris Jericho and having the entire crowd at least willing to dance along (even if some of them are doing it ironically, it still counts), his push to at least an Intercontinental title reign was sidetracked by a concussion and when he returned, he was quickly forgotten. A token attempt was made to freshen up the character by, and we’re not kidding, changing his style of dance from ballroom to tango, and giving him a new partner in Rosa Mendes. However, the “new and improved” Fandango still didn’t win any matches, dumped Rosa within weeks, and was off television again within a month. At this point, nothing short of a complete character change would probably save Curtis, and with plenty of younger talent in NXT ready to make the jump, it doesn’t seem like WWE has any interest in turning him into a reclamation project. Source:

11. Zack Ryder

Frankly, we’re shocked Ryder hasn’t been released yet, because there are clearly people inside WWE who hate everything about him. Despite doing everything that we’re told WWE Superstars are supposed to do, taking a personal interest in his own character, figuring out how to get over without the support of the Creative team, and generally being an entertaining wrestler, his push was abruptly halted and he was buried so far into the ground by the way he was booked that he had to go to NXT just to try and find sunlight. While there, he’s formed a decent if unspectacular tag team with Mojo Rawley, but it’s unlikely to be his ticket back to the big stage and more just a way to pair a veteran wrestler with the enthusiastic but inexperienced Rawley. Ryder did manage to somehow find his was into a WrestleMania moment, winning the Intercontinental title in a shocking surprise at WrestleMania 32, but he lost the title again the very next day, and there don’t appear to be any future plans for him on the main roster. Barring some sort of drastic reversal of fortune, it’s likely Ryder will never hold any position of importance in WWE in the future, and perhaps he should have gotten out long ago. Source:

10. Chris Jericho

Chris, man, we love you, but like a Rolling Stones farewell tour, you just keep coming back. Originally, Jericho’s surprise returns were hotly anticipated and always creative (anyone else remember SAVE_US.Y2J?), and led to Jericho feuding with top talent in story lines that were a breath of fresh air and showed that he had enough pull to influence the direction of his booking in a positive direction. And when Jericho put someone over, it was a big deal. Now, it seems like he’s “returning” every other month to make an appearance and lose to some up-and-coming Superstar, giving that guy the rub of beating a big name from the Attitude Era. At a certain point, it all became predictable, and as a result, beating Chris Jericho doesn’t mean anything, and he also shouldn’t be winning matches if he’s only going to come back for special appearances (Jericho does work house shows regularly, but those matches don’t affect the televised product in any way). To make matters worse, as much as it pains us to say it, Jericho has reached an age where he simply can’t keep up with many wrestlers on the full-time roster, and it’s leading to underwhelming matches instead of the show-stealing bouts he used to be capable of. Source:

9. Dolph Ziggler

Nearly constantly over the last few years, there have been rumors flying that Dolph Ziggler might be leaving WWE to pursue a career in stand-up comedy. This caused a lot of people to rally around Ziggler, who was seen as an entertaining character and an excellent in-ring competitor, and one that could have been a decent WWE Champion. In fact, Dolph Ziggler has two World title reigns to his name, one that lasted less than an hour, and a second that was cut short due to an injury that was no fault of his. If anyone could be seen to be getting the short end of the stick, it was Ziggler. But as time goes by and Ziggler sticks around, it’s become clear that not only is he not going anywhere, but WWE will never use him in any meaningful way. There may have been times where he was seen as a legitimate main event talent, but those days seem to be long in the past. Ziggler’s unenviable situation was highlighted when he was made the hero of WWE at Survivor Series 2014, where he shockingly survived against all odds and was able to pull out a victory which banished The Authority from WWE forever. Actually, for about a month, when everything was reversed and Ziggler’s role was completely forgotten. Far from being a star-making moment, it was just a case of “right guy in the right place at the right time”, and Ziggler remained in mid-card limbo. Far from being a case where Ziggler’s act is worn out, taking an extended break from WWE could be a career-saving move for him, as he could return refreshed and possibly with a new perspective in the eyes of WWE Creative, who have basically given up on him in his current incarnation. Source:

8. Sheamus

Sheamus is, actually, a terribly under-rated wrestler. He needs the right opponents to fully utilize his brawling style, but there are several people in WWE that he has worked incredibly well with. The problem is that Sheamus isn’t a character, he’s a caricature, and it’s gotten worse in recent months. There really isn’t anything to Sheamus besides being Irish and a bit of a jerk, but he’s been a constant presence on WWE TV for years without truly evolving beyond a character description that’s literally half a sentence long. His ring work has helped keep him relevant at times, but a large majority of his career has been spent as part of random matches with no direction, leading to the perception, rightly or wrongly, that he’s boring. This was exacerbated by him winning the Money in the Bank briefcase in 2015, which lead to a horrible feud with Roman Reigns that absolutely nobody wanted to see, and actually ended up burying Sheamus as a credible main event threat. While it’s almost impossible for Sheamus to truly move away from his obvious Irish heritage, it’s his lack of depth beyond that which has pretty much rendered him irrelevant in the eyes of the audience. Source:

7. Mark Henry

It sounds terrible to say it, because by all accounts Mark Henry is a fantastic human being and a friendly guy, but in the fifteen years he’s been in WWE, he’s been both interesting and relevant for roughly eight months in 2011, when the writing staff got fully behind his Hall of Pain gimmick and had him just destroy people. He was so dominant at that point that Sheamus turned face just by virtue of being willing to face him in a match despite knowing what Henry was doing to people! Other than that, it’s been a lot of bad matches, and, of course, an embarrassingly bad angle involving a pregnant Mae Young that he and WWE will never live down. On the bright side, he did have that short run as World Heavyweight Champion, so that he won’t only remembered for being the guy whose senior citizen girlfriend gave birth to a hand, but it was a close call. Rumor is that Henry does plan to retire soon, so it’s nice that he’ll get to do it on his own terms, but couldn’t he have spared us the last few years of aimlessly wandering through the mid-card, turning face or heel depending on who he was facing that particular evening? Source:

6. R-Truth

Truth is a difficult situation to understand. The crowds still love him (or at least, love to chant “What’s Up”) and he’s not a bad wrestler, but WWE only seems interested in using him once in a while, leading people to occasionally forget he even works there. But then he’ll come out one night on Raw and do his act, facing someone like a Wade Barrett who had been getting a decent push over the last few weeks. It’d be easy to assume that this will just be a squash match to help give that person some momentum. And then R-Truth wins that match, and we get stuck in a feud that everyone knows Truth should be losing, but nevertheless takes several weeks, or even months, before it’s settled and all the heat that his opponent might have had before their feud started has dissipated because he couldn’t even look dominant against R-Truth. And it’s not just feuds, somehow R-Truth ended up in the Intercontinental ladder match at WrestleMania 31, the Elimination Chamber Intercontinental title match, and the King of the Ring tournament (where he defeated Stardust before losing to the eventual King Barrett in the semifinals), even though he’d barely been on TV in any role for months leading up to that stretch! Truth’s a funny guy, but it’s time to stop shoving him into spots that should probably go to people who actually have a chance to win and go on to a productive WWE career, as opposed to a guy on the tail-end of his. Source:

5. Randy Orton

Randy Orton has largely been a victim of success. He’s done everything that there is to do in WWE. He’s won all of the titles, some of them multiple times, he’s feuded with everyone, he’s beaten pretty much every wrestler who has passed through WWE in the last fifteen years. He’s been in the main event of WrestleMania, won a Royal Rumble, and been in several WWE-produced movies. There is literally nothing left for Randy Orton to accomplish, but the problem is, he’s only in his mid-thirties. Orton’s lack of any meaningful remaining challenges shows in how he’s been used for a long time now, which is as a filler match every week that serves no purpose other than to make sure that Randy Orton appears on WWE TV on a weekly basis because he’s still one of their top stars, even if the Creative team has nothing for him to do. That’s why we’ve gotten stretches with a dozen Randy Orton vs Sheamus matches, because both of them have nothing better to do each week. To be fair, Orton himself seems to understand this, and has been allegedly looking for a lighter schedule with more time off. Source:

4. Eva Marie

We’ve tried to be supportive, but Eva Marie, you just don’t have it. Oh, we saw the videos of you training with Brian Kendrick, and we gave you a chance because it looked like you were actually trying, but this is pro wrestling. At a certain point, you can’t just try, you actually have to be able to do it, because otherwise people get hurt. And what a surprise, Eva’s already hurt someone in the ring because she doesn’t appear to have any idea what she’s doing. You know how it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye? Well, it’s definitely not fun and games for Eva Marie anymore. She needs to stay out of the ring and off television until she either gives up or actually learns how to wrestle, for the safety of herself and everyone she works with. We’re past the era where you could just be a pretty face in a skintight outfit who had pillow fights with other untrained fashion models and be considered a WWE Diva. Sure, she gets insane crowd heat, but that’s because absolutely nobody wants to see her in the ring. Sorry, Eva Marie, but there’s no room in women’s wrestling for someone who’s setting the concept back ten years every time she steps in the ring. Source:

3. Goldust

Goldust is another case of someone who’s been around for so long and done so much that there’s really no reason for him to stay. He’s likely never going to be involved in anything resembling a serious angle, or involved in a title chase, again, and as entertaining as he can be in comedy bits, he’s pretty much run through his entire repertoire of creepy and slightly uncomfortable jokes multiple times at this point. When your best chance to be on TV involves an incredibly lame team with R-Truth that is preceded by months of tortuously bad backstage segments, maybe you should take a step back and decide if you want to keep spending your late 40’s taking bumps in gold spandex and facepaint. We will always appreciate Goldust’s hard work, and never forget the multiple career renaissances he managed to have to reinvigorate his character and extend his career, but at this point, it’s time to step aside and let someone else be the wacky guy in WWE for a while. Source:

2. Kane

Corporate Kane, who doesn’t know that he’s also an evil demon, was hilarious, really. It required wrestling fans everywhere to completely ignore the fact that Kane has been The Demon for nearly twenty years now, and whatever mind games he’s trying to play aren’t actually working because everyone already knows it’s him, but at least it was a funny joke. The problem was, it wasn’t just a running joke that livens up backstage segments, it was being treated as a main event story line that revolves around the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, the biggest prize in the entire company. And at a certain point, all the straight-laced Corporate Kane promos in the world aren’t going to make up for the fact that nobody wants to see Kane in a one-on-one main event title match in 2015. Give Kane his due for managing to hit upon a new aspect of his character that he was been able to ride for such a long time, but all it did was put Seth Rollins in another filler match to extend his title reign by a month, fighting someone whom everyone knew wasn’t going to win the World title. But in the meantime, it made the WWE Champion look incredibly weak because he got fooled and beaten up by Kane on a weekly basis. Corporate Kane was a great joke, but WWE continued to treat him like a serious contender, and they will continue to do so with Kane as long as he’s around, because they think he’s just as scary as he was when he tore through the door to Hell in a Cell back in 1997, when he hasn’t been that way in years. Source:

1. The Big Show

Perhaps you’ve noticed how the fans on Raw have taken to chanting “Please Retire” at The Big Show. Frankly, it’s nice that they have enough respect for The Big Show to be polite enough to use the word “please”. Unlike Kane, who can at least put on or remove his mask to somewhat change up his character, The Big Show has been the exact same guy for nearly two decades now. Sure, he’s been a face and a heel, multiple times, but he’s always been the same. Granted, he is the World’s Largest Athlete and those are rare enough, but The Big Show, as we all know him, has roughly two emotions: laid-back and comical, or pissed off angry giant. And as funny as he is or as intimidating as he is, the fact of the matter is that we’ve seen everything we’re ever going to see out of The Big Show. He’s just not going to show us anything different than what he’s already done over a long career. However, WWE continues to feel like they can’t stop using him at the expense of other, younger talent that has more years ahead of them. Feeding them to build up The Big Show as an opponent for someone like Brock Lesnar actually does make sense from a certain perspective, until you realize that no matter how much you build him up, people don’t expect him to win anyway, and would actually be more interested in watching the people that are being used to make The Big Show look strong. We get it, he’s really big and that’s incredible, but he’s been really big for a very long time, and after a certain point, it’s just not that incredible anymore. Source:

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle is an avid wrestling and film fan. He's been writing about WWE, movies, and video games for Goliath since 2015.